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Restrictions on four phthalates

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Calls for comments are requested on a restriction proposal for four classified phthalates, DEHP, BBP, DBP and DIBP.

The six-month public consultation on the restriction report will conclude on 16 March 2012. ECHA, however, encourages interested parties to send in their comments by 16 December 2011.

The four phthalates

Denmark has prepared a report proposing a restriction for the placing on the market and use of certain articles containing four classified phthalates (DEHP, BBP, DBP and DIBP). These phthalates are found primarily in PVC as softeners, but they can also be found in low concentrations in other plastics and also in dispersions, paints and varnishes.

These phthalates are all reported to affect reproductivity. The widespread use of phthalates is raising concern, regarding human exposure from consumer articles. The dossier addresses the combined exposure based on common effects seen with exposure to these phthalates.

In the report, Denmark suggests a ban for the placing on the market of articles intended for indoor use and articles that may come into direct contact with the skin or mucous membranes, containing one or more of these four phthalates in a concentration greater than 0.1 % by weight of any plasticised material.

DEHP, DBP and BBP are in the list of substances subject to authorisation (Annex XIV) of the REACH Regulation. DIBP is included in ECHA's second recommendation of substances to be included in that list.

ECHA invites interested parties to comment on the above restriction report

Interested parties can comment on the proposal and the restriction report (so called Annex XV report) via the ECHA website. Comments will be reviewed and taken into account by ECHA's Committees for Risk Assessment (RAC) and Socio-economic Analysis (SEAC). The final opinions of the Committees on the proposed restriction are scheduled for September 2012. Based on these opinions, the European Commission will take the decision whether to introduce additional restrictions into the REACH Regulation.

The Annex XV report contains the background and justifications for the proposed restriction. They include the identified risks, information on alternatives, the effectiveness of the restriction in reducing the risks and costs of the restriction.

Although the six-month public consultation concludes on 16 March 2012, the Reporters of RAC and SEAC would appreciate receiving comments by 16 December 2011 to assist them in the detailed discussion of the restriction proposal in January 2012

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